Once considered one of the bright, young pieces of the Florida Panthers’ future, Mike Matheson struggled the past two seasons and on Thursday was officially traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins along with Colton Sceviour.
The trade had been rumored since Wednesday although Sceviour had not previously been mentioned as being part of it.
Florida gets out from under the final six seasons of Matheson’s contract (of which he is owed $32 of the original $39 million) and nets veteran winger Patric Hornqvist in return.
In Hornqvist, the Panthers get a hard-nosed winger who is not only a two-time Stanley Cup champ but is one who can create space for Florida’s more skilled forwards as well as play in a bottom-six role.
A veteran of 770 NHL games over 12 seasons with Nashville and Pittsburgh, Hornqvist is a fan favorite as well as a popular player among his teammates.
We literally could not have done it without you.
Thanks for everything, Patric Hornqvist! pic.twitter.com/KNazEwH9Iu
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) September 24, 2020
Hornqvist, however, is 33 and has a recent injury history with two concussions in the 2018-19 season.
Bottom line: The Penguins are acquiring a player they hope can get his game to match his talent. Mike Matheson is extremely talented and when he’s on, he’s good.
The Florida Panthers did not want to bet six more years of contract on that and are getting in return a player they think can help them in numerous ways — at least in the immediate future.